The Legend

The Legend

by Suzanne Robinson

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback - Reprint)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780553579642
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/27/2001
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 7.00(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Suzanne Robinson holds a PhD in anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin. She is the author of more than a dozen historical romances and a critically acclaimed historical mystery series, which she writes as Lynda S. Robinson. She lives in Texas.

Read an Excerpt

England
1476 A.D.

Galen de Marlowe woke with a cry, sat up in bed, and stared sightlessly into the darkness. Panting, he felt drops of sweat run into his eyes as he tried to master his breathing. He swallowed hard and began to inhale deeply. The linen sheets stuck to his bare skin, and he tossed them aside, swearing as he wiped his forehead and brushed damp locks of brown, sun-streaked hair from his face.

Naked, he rose, found a candle and lit it. The small flame revealed a chamber bare of the luxuries to which he was accustomed. Galen pulled on a robe of black velvet lined with fur and went to the window. Throwing open the shutter he'd hung there only a couple of months ago, he leaned against the embrasure and inhaled the damp night air.

The moon floated in a silver mist in a sky full of glittering stars. A cloud sailed across the bright orb like a slow distant ship on the ocean. He closed his eyes for a moment, and when he opened them, the cloud had vanished into a great bank of thunderheads. Galen knew there would be no sleep for him this night.

The same vision had awakened him countless times for nearly three months now. Galen was used to visions. He and his brothers had inherited special gifts from their mother, a dark-haired, fey Welsh noblewoman, skills that they'd hidden from the world for fear of being accused of witchcraft. Having reached the age of thirty-two, Galen had become skilled at interpreting the visions. Sometimes they referred to the distant past and meant little to him, but this one was different. It was about the future of the royal family, and it was about his friend, Edward, King of England.

The vision always began the same way. He felt himself transformed into a raven, black, gimlet-eyed, and fierce. He flew high above the ground, guided by a bright ribbon of water. Rolling emerald hills and fields of barley and grass floated beneath him until he came to a cluster of buildings upon the bank of the river. He recognized the spires and buttresses of Westminster below him. Tiny boats and river taxis dodged between slow-moving barges and larger sailing vessels. He flew on past Charing Cross, and glimpsed the Fleet River, then St. Paul's Cathedral, followed by Saltwharf, Dowgate, and London Bridge. As he sailed over Billingsgate, he glimpsed a soaring white tower surrounded by high defensive walls. He knew this was home, for in his dream he was one of the fabled Tower ravens.

He angled down, gliding rapidly over the ring walls, past the Bell Tower, St. Thomas's Tower, and Traitor's Gate. Swerving, he flapped his wings and then dove for one of the projecting towers in the great white keep that dominated Tower Hill. Then the vision changed; he changed. One moment he was flapping hard, trying to land on a crenel, and the next he was in the chapel, facing its elongated nave. He stood, suddenly a man on a man's legs, in the vast chamber with its massive rounded arches supported by thick pillars. He looked up at the tribune gallery above the arches, and there glimpsed a shadow as it flitted from archway to archway.

The shadow exuded evil. Galen felt an overwhelming urge to follow it, and he raced up to the gallery, through a narrow doorway, and up a flight of winding stairs in one of the towers that formed the corners of the keep. The shadow moved with supernatural speed, darted around a bend in the stair and stopped at an unguarded door. Without aid, the door swung open with a long, moaning creak, and the shadow floated across the threshold.

Galen stopped several steps below, for the closer he came to the mysterious shadow, the more fearful he became. His heart was drumming hard against his ribs. His skin was clammy, and he trembled with a terror that emanated from his wildly beating heart. He forced his foot to move to the next step and the next until he reached the doorway. Inching his head around the door molding, he peered inside a small chamber with a vaulted ceiling and a tester bed draped with damask hangings embroidered with the royal coat of arms. The hangings had been shoved aside to reveal two boys with golden hair who so resembled the king that he knew they had to be the sons of Edward Plantagenet.

Without warning, the shadow separated itself from the darkness around the bed. By the time it reached the boys it had coalesced into the shape of a man, and in the man's hand a pillow. Galen tried to move, but his legs had grown as heavy as lead boulders. As he struggled, the man lowered the pillow over the boys' faces. Galen shouted as he watched the pillow being pressed over the boys' mouths, but no sound came out. He struggled there, horrified and helpless, as the small bodies writhed.

Then, suddenly, Galen was jolted out of his human body, back into the form of a raven, the remnants of terror still clinging to him like the putrid flesh of a corpse. In an instant he was flying over a battlefield where two armies fought, one under the king's banner bearing the white rose of York, the other under the red rose of Lancaster. He spied the damascened armor of the king, its helmet closed, obscuring his face. Galen landed in a leafless tree as the battle raged. He couldn't see what happened to the king, but he heard the screams from men around him. Lancastrian foes surrounded a Yorkist knight, closed in, and stabbed him viciously. Galen stretched his wings, struggling to find his hands while the bloody attack continued. The knight screamed, and he screamed back, and that was when Galen woke.

Galen shook his head and rubbed his eyes, trying to rid himself of the evil vision. He hated his gift of sight, and he'd prayed to God to deliver him from what he could only see as a curse. His prayers had gone unanswered. Experience had taught him that acting upon matters so far out of his hands could only yield tragedy. He'd sworn never to rush into action on account of his gift, for once, long ago, he'd done just that and caused the death of his wife and children.

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The Legend 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
dianaleez on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Suzanne Robinson has written some good books, but this is not one of them. The major characters lack depth and definition and the plot is predictable. I was disappointed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The one sex scene was so nonexistent that I wasn't even sure it happened. Story really lacked substance.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Legend by Suzanne Robinson lures you into the Middle Ages, into a period of time rarely visited, the War of the Roses. Galen de Marlowe has come to Durance Guarde, a refuge at the edge of his demesne, seeking refuge. He wants solitude as he explores the meaning behind the vision that plagues him, the deaths of the young princes Edward V and Richard, in the Tower of London. He needs to find a way to alert the king of this impending event without revealing his gift of clairvoyance. His self imposed exile is shattered by the arrival of Honor Jennings, who is intent on creating a manor house at Durance Guarde and living there, luxuriating in the independent life of a vowess, a widow who resolves to remain celibate but retains the freedoms of a married woman. It sounds like a pretty good plan. Galen de Marlowe is the fly in her ointment. First he refuses to leave Durance Guarde, claiming it is his own land. Honor resorts to acting out The Legend for which the book is named, in order to drive him away. The thrust and parry between Galen and Honor as they dispute the property is delightful. These two characters are equally matched in wit and hardheadedness. Galen realizes this and works to get her out of his life. He cannot afford the distraction. He asks the king to set aside her vows so she can wed and move away - the farther the better. But his plan backfires when hes forced to reveal his secret to her. The Legend is richly layered with description, pulling the reader into the England of the 1400s. The dialogue befits the period, the conflict is complex and Galen and Honor have a balanced relationship, with witty repartee, tender companionship and passion. The Legend is a first class ticket to the past.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Each of the de Marlowe men had a gift which they hid from the rest of the world. Galen's was visions! Lately he had been having dark, disturbing visions and horror filled nightmares. To avoid the notice of each unique gift of his brothers, he left court and secluded himself at Durance Guarde. Galen had been awarded the highest medals of honor from King Edward, but was more humbled by having the privilege of counting Edward as a friend. However, Galen did not even take the time to consult Edward before disappearing. At Durance Guarde, Galen planned to search within himself for the meaning of his recent visions, without endangering anyone he cared for.

Lady Honor Jennings was now a widow. To avoid her greedy In-Laws and a forced new marriage to those who coveted her lands and wealth, Honor planned to become a Vowess. She returned to her father's home. Her father, Sir Walter Stafford, expected her to remarry also. But was in no rush.

The Staffords and the de Marlowes never really decided who rightfully owned Durance Guarde. Honor had hoped to build her own manor there and print books. Finding Galen there led to several clashes of will! The two are thrown together during one of history's darkest hours! Galen and Honor must find out who murdered her husband and stop the royal assassination Galen has visions of.

**** Suzanne Robinson has succeeded in weaving a magical new spell for her readers in this, her latest story! The tale of Honor and Galen grabbed me from the first sentence. I simply HAD to keep reading to see what was going to happen next! Would I recommend it? Oh, YES! ****
harstan More than 1 year ago
In 1476 England, Galen de Marlowe hides in remote Durance Guarde so he can concentrate on the visions of a malevolent being threatening the royal family. He sees a shadow smothering two boys who Galen assumes are the sons of his friend Edward the King.

Honor Stafford heads home after four mostly lonely years of marriage to Aymer Jennings, who recently died in an accident. She decides to temporarily stay at Durance Guarde, an allegedly evil place, to regain her equilibrium and to enjoy her freedom before dealing with family desires to marry her again against her wishes again. The keep lies on disputed land in which de Marlowe and Stafford claims ownership, but neither bother is able to prove it belongs to them.

Honor meets Galen and an attraction springs their between them to both their dismay. He decides she must be married to get her off his case and escorts her to see the King. However, as Galen and Honor fall in love, a dastardly deed begins to take shape to gain control of the English throne. LEGEND is an amusing medieval romance that is not the typical Suzanne Robinson TREASURE. The story line is entertaining, but the characters, though interesting, act a bit weird and inane, and never captures audience empathy for their plights. Ms. Robinson¿s fans will be astonished by this change in direction to a fifteenth century romp that seems to satirize the author¿s more serious historical romances.

Harriet Klausner

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